HMSA Kaimana Awards & Scholarship Program Honors 30 Schools and 21 Student Athletes

School principals, athletic directors, students, and family members came from across the state to the Hawaii Convention Center today to honor Hawaii’s top high schools and the finest scholar athletes at the 2013 HMSA Kaimana Awards & Scholarship Program luncheon.

“Being a teenager and getting through that tremendously challenging period of your life is an accomplishment on its own,” said Elisa Yadao, HMSA’s senior vice president of consumer experience. “These students excelled, earning outstanding grades, practicing exceptional sportsmanship, and giving countless hours of their time to help others. We’re so committed to the Kaimana Program because it highlights the aloha these students share with their classmates, their teammates, and their communities.”

The program, which started in August 2005, recognizes all-around accomplishments by high schools, rewards individual student athletes with scholarships, and supports coaches education. It’s sponsored by HMSA and administered by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association.

At today’s awards ceremony, 21 students received scholarships worth $3,000. Five of those students were named distinguished scholars and received an additional $2,000 each. This year, HMSA unveiled a new scholarship in honor of former HMSA president and chief executive officer Robert P. Hiam. Lucas Gushikuma, a Kauai High School graduate, was awarded an additional $7,500 to use toward his tuition next year at the University of Portland where he plans to study to become a nurse and eventually a doctor.

Thirty high schools were recognized for achieving the highest program scores in their league and division in athletics, academics, sportsmanship, and community service. The 10 highest-scoring schools received a check for $1,500.

The keynote address was presented by Olympic medalist Clarissa Chun, the only woman wrestler from Hawaii to win a medal at the Olympics and the first women’s freestyle wrestler to be nominated to her second Olympic Team. KGMB Sunrise News Anchor Steve Uyehara emceed the awards luncheon. Guest presenters included KITV Sports Anchor and UH Rainbow Warrior Football play-by-play Announcer Robert Kekaula; Josh Pacheco of ESPN Radio; Dave Reardon of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; Dana Takahara-Dias, Department of Education Title IX in Athletics Specialist; and Dave Vinton, director of Sports Programming for OC-16.

About HMSA

Caring for the people of Hawaii is our promise and our privilege. Working together with employers, partners, and physicians and other health care providers, we promote wellness; develop reliable, affordable health plans; and support members with clear, thoughtful guidance.

HMSA is the most experienced health plan in the state, covering more than half of Hawaii’s population. As a recognized leader, we embrace our responsibility to strengthen the health and well-being of our community.

Headquartered on Oahu with centers statewide to serve our members, HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.